Author(s): Peraza MA, AyalaFierro F, Barber DS, Casarez E, Rael LT
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Abstract There is growing evidence that micronutrient intake has a significant effect on the toxicity and carcinogenesis caused by various chemicals. This paper examines the effect of micronutrient status on the toxicity of four nonessential metals: cadmium, lead, mercury, and arsenic. Unfortunately, few studies have directly examined the effect of dietary deficiency or supplementation on metal toxicity. More commonly, the effect of dietary alteration must be deduced from the results of mechanistic studies. We have chosen to separate the effect of micronutrients on toxic metals into three classes: interaction between essential micronutrients and toxic metals during uptake, binding, and excretion; influence of micronutrients on the metabolism of toxic metals; and effect of micronutrients on secondary toxic effects of metals. Based on data from mechanistic studies, the ability of micronutrients to modulate the toxicity of metals is indisputable. Micronutrients interact with toxic metals at several points in the body: absorption and excretion of toxic metals; transport of metals in the body; binding to target proteins; metabolism and sequestration of toxic metals; and finally, in secondary mechanisms of toxicity such as oxidative stress. Therefore, people eating a diet deficient in micronutrients will be predisposed to toxicity from nonessential metals.
This article was published in Environ Health Perspect
and referenced in Vitamins & Minerals